Nothing channels childhood memories faster than a carefree summer afternoon. With travel and camps off the table this year, the summer of 2020 feels especially poignant as we find ourselves yearning for the nostalgic comfort of summers past. From simple pleasures like outdoor water play to creating a staycation in the yard, read on for laidback ideas inspired by old-school summer fun.
Pastimes from the Past
Bathing suits aren’t just for dips in the pool, so get those rash guards ready for some good old-fashioned fun in the sun. No kid can resist running through sprinklers, throwing water balloons or chasing siblings and cousins with water squirters. Shrieks, giggles and memories galore! Our favorite old-school summer activity is having a DIY car wash in the driveway. All you need is a bucket, a hose, some car-friendly soap and washing accessories. We use these sponges, which are easy for smaller hands to work with, and these mitts. Kids love creating bubble rivers and splashing around with the hose, but they especially love the end result: a sparkling (for the most part) car! If washing the car feels ambitious for your toddler, you can also wash tricycles or opt for a “toy wash” using your hose and an old infant tub instead.
From Bath to Backyard
Water play is practically synonymous with summer — and it doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun. The fastest way to wash away boredom? Take bath toys outside! Chances are, your tub is already a treasure trove of toys that are perfectly suited for outdoor play. Here are a few that play as nicely in the yard as they do in the bath.
- Kids of all ages love the Color Buddies Moisturizing Bath Bombs, which deliver a rainbow of fun in the form of color-changing water. How cool would that be in a kiddie pool?
- Consider using the White Hot Duck Tub outdoors, in a grassy area. It makes a great (read: safe!) alternative to an inflatable pool, so baby can participate in the action too.
- Spray Star is a mini floating sprinkler that’s just right for a water table or kiddie pool. It spins, sprays water and lights up for triple the fun.
- The Fishin’ Bath Toy will keep them engaged hook, line and sinker too. But really, you can’t go wrong with any bath toys that float, squirt, or swim.
Just add water. It’s really that simple (for little ones and grownups alike)!
A Patio Staycation
2020 is the year of the pivot in every way – including travel. While it’s nowhere near the same, you can cure your wanderlust a bit by traveling through music and food, right in your own backyard. Recreate the feeling of a getaway by dining alfresco, eating themed meals and listening to vacation-friendly playlists to match. You can do a taste of Italy, complete with pizza or spaghetti and meatballs, followed by biscotti and gelato for dessert, while listening to Italian jazz. Or perhaps a luau is more your family’s speed – complete with leis for the kids, tropical smoothies, and traditional Hawaiian music to bring the island spirit home. Whatever your culinary destination, the Go Play Travel Mat is perfect for eating outdoors or having a vacation-inspired picnic at home.
Lazy Days of Summer
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep in mind that often, all little ones need is fresh air, bare feet and a popsicle to linger longer outdoors and declare it the best day ever. Check out the list of 40 summer must-haves from Munchkin to help beat the heat at home. And don’t forget the sunscreen!